Home > News > Judge Strikes Down Texas Strip Club Fee • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Judge Strikes Down Texas Strip Club Fee

Texas Attorney General vows to appeal law that would have imposed a $5 per patron tariff
Judge Strikes Down Texas Strip Club Fee
Get XBIZ News
Apr 1, 2008 8:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
AUSTIN — A state district judge Friday struck down legislation that would have levied a $5 state fee on patrons of strip clubs, invalidating a measure that state officials said would have raised $50 million annually for sexual assault victims and people without health insurance.

Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins, who in December refused to block the tax from going into effect, clearing the way for a lawsuit testing the constitutionality of the tariff, called the tax unconstitutional and said that it singled out "expression that, while politically unpopular, is nevertheless protected by the First Amendment."

State Rep. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston, one of the primary sponsors of the bill, said that she was disappointed by the ruling but "not disheartened."

Cohen was scheduled to meet today in Austin with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said he plans to "vigorously appeal" the ruling.

Neither are some Dallas club owners ready to uncork the champagne.

"The rest of them are ready to throw a big party, but I don't think this is over," Dawn Rizos, who owns the upscale Dallas club Lodge, said. "They're going to rewrite it, and eventually it will pass."

The fee, which lawmakers passed last spring and which took effect January 1, was to be divided between sexual assault services and health insurance for the poor. No money had been collected yet, because the first payments from clubs were not due until April.

Officials with the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, which helped craft the measure, said they intend to rework the bill when lawmakers return to Austin in January.

"This is not the end of the adult entertainment fee or of our goal of providing comprehensive sexual assault-related services to Texans," spokeswoman Karen Amacker said.

According to Jenkins, while the intended use of the money was "laudable," lawmakers had failed to directly tie the erotic activity they wanted to tax with the social ills they hoped to remedy, saying that no evidence had been submitted showing "that combining alcohol with nude erotic dancing causes dancers to be uninsured, or that any uninsured dancer could qualify for assistance from the fund."

Representatives from the Texas Entertainment Association, which filed the lawsuit and represents more than half of the topless clubs in the state, said they would also continue to fight any fee that was "unconstitutionally imposed" on them.

"I doubt they'll be able to overcome the First Amendment issue," Stewart Whitehead, the entertainment association's attorney, said.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

BUSINESS ANALYSIS

Retailers Talk BDSM Shopping Trends

These days, BDSM is so mainstream that it is being depicted in everything from beer commercials to telenovelas. Floggers, paddles, ball gags and handcuffs were once considered the bad boys of adult retail;... More »

Specialty Manufacturers Talk Popularity of Handcrafted BDSM Gear

The proverbial cat is out of the bag for fetishes — and the dog, and the dragon, and a whole other slew of kink accessories that put blindfolds and handcuffs to shame. “Fifty Shades”... More »

Mainstreaming of BDSM Broadens Category, Consumer Reach

It’s been just more than 30 years since Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke lit the silver screen on fire in “9 ½ Weeks” with the film’s underlying themes of BDSM. And more than... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.

UPCOMING EVENTS

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!